Introduction and Prayer Pray
Have you ever used a budget to save money/diet to loose weight or eat healthy/program to get organized? What was the secret of success? What made you fail?
Have you ever had a coach or teacher instruct you to do something? Sometimes knowing what to do is a small part of the battle. The real challenge is often following through with obedience to the instruction.
Read Acts 13:1
1Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul.
How do most people in our world and media perceive Christianity in regard to diversity?
Did God die only for one race or for all people?
What does racial and cultural diversity in this staff of pastors and elders tell us about the early church?
Read Acts 13:2-3
2One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” 3So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.
When did God speak to these men? What were they doing?
What are you thinking of or doing during the worship segment of our services? Is it easy to stay focused on God? What distracts you?
What are some ways to help keep focused on God during times of worship?
Read Acts 13:4-5
4So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. 5There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. John Mark went with them as their assistant.
Describe a moment when you sensed God instructing you to go somewhere. How did you know it was God or how did you interpret it as God leading you?
God often led His followers to places where they would subsequently have spiritual conversations with others. Have you ever experienced a moment like this? Describe it.
Read Acts 13:42-43
Verse 42 42As Paul and Barnabas left the synagogue that day, the people begged them to speak about these things again the next week. 43Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them to continue to rely on the grace of God.
What made the audience desire to hear more of what Paul and Barnabas were teaching?
How often do we have a hunger to hear or study God’s Word?
Why do so many have a limited desire to study God’s Word?
Is there anything that we can do to increase our appetite for God’s Word?
(People were responding to the message of truth and Paul and Barnabas keep pointing the people to the grace of God.) 44The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord. 45But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said. 46Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles.
Think on This….
What is one area in my life that I could improve practicing obedience to God?
Pray and ask God to strengthen you to be obedient to Him in this area of your life.